Browsing All posts tagged under »art-pop«

Buke And Gase – General Dome (indie rock)

January 21, 2013

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Buke And Gase armour themselves in symbols; the inquisitive listener’s eye, probing the album’s packaging for keys to the music’s meanings may find some affective affinities between its appearance and the sound (that’s a matter for their own aesthetic conscience), but its gaze will be reflected, denied admission by the obviously meaningful but unyielding glyphs that adorn it. The duo have announced that clues to assist in the decoding of their bespoke graphical alphabet will be meted out on their website once the record is on general release, but in fact everything you need to crack the code is right there on the cover (I have to thank my daughter for spotting the album title, from which everything else fell into place) …

Various Artists – Album Roundup

January 16, 2013

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Sufficiently independent not to sound ‘indie’, yet aesthetically straightforward enough not to sound ‘experimental’, Neurotic Wreck’s schtick is a pretty accessible art-pop stew; a predominantly electronic production mashes up trip-hop, electro, shoegaze and other downbeat sources, into a melancholy and and carefully textured soundworld, freighted with nostalgia and regret. The album is all about its songs, which is to say it’s as much about lyrics and melody as it is about production, but the creative textures and arrangements are a central part of the utterance; it’s moderately avant-garde, but it’s also furnished with a pop sensibility, and very well put together. It’s not party music, but it’s very listenable, and indeed re-listenable.

Various Artists – Album Roundup

August 9, 2012

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The five pieces collected on Elle Avait Raison Hathor take their inspiration from five female deities, from geographically disparate mythological traditions – ancient Egyptian, Japanese, Inuit and classical Greek. To exploit mythical archetypes in a way that respects the specificities of a modern subjectivity takes a deft touch and a nuanced understanding, both of the source mythology, and the way its discourses are articulated in the here and now. There is a great deal of material already in circulation that shoehorns lived experience into a generic New Age symbolism, without adding anything to its audience’s understanding; fortunately, the experiences conveyed by Vincent Berger Rond’s compositions, both musical and poetic, are nothing if not particular.

Marley Starskey Butler – Opposites (avant-pop)

July 5, 2012

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Like all Entr’acte releases, Opposites arrives in a hermetically perfect, vacuum sealed package, simple metallic grey plastic with one colour printing in the exact same typeface and layout as the rest of their catalogue. There is something disturbing about its severity and its integrity; I have never been so reluctant to open an album sent to me for review, and had I been able to download the tracks I probably wouldn’t have. In the end I took a scalpel to it, and attempted to open it as subtly as possible, from the back, but ended up scoring a very visible line across the front as well. This moment of rupture inevitably contributes to the readings of the work, but it seems mostly representative of the irruption of the distributor’s agenda into the music …

Various Artists – Album Roundup

January 24, 2012

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There’s more than a nod to dreampop and shoegaze in this music, but Lisa Masia and Marina Cristofalo are clearly too in love with the raw and ragged sound of a distorted electric guitar to tame it to the extent that might imply. Some of Wish You Were A Pony is downright heavy! This is pop music, but not lowest-common-denominator, mass-market pop; it’s pop because it’s all about simple, accessible melodies, infectious, danceable rhythms, lush, inviting soundscapes, and, well… fun.

The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players – Lost And Found (anti-folk/ art-pop)

September 14, 2011

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Hot zowee! This long player is really a gas, boys and girls! If the family that plays together stays together, then The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players are one fantabulous bundle of cosmic togetherness: these three way-out cats are as groovy as a corduroy overcoat and as hip as a coxa (that’s Latin for hip). The sounds they bring us are so far out they’re in, and they’ll put a smile on the face of everyone who knows the score.